I was looking through some of my old journals the other day, and was amazed to find a sketch for a project that we’d planned in 1976, and never followed through on.
Journal/Notebook, 1975-76, Cover indicating influence of Bacchus in our lives
Right now I’m sitting here in the Dockwood office, pondering the bookshelves we put together for this new abode, using wooden milk crates we’d collected way back then, when we first came to New York City. As readers of this blog are no doubt aware, we were a very poor little family of the “starving artist” variety and had to scrounge for furniture, or build it ourselves. If one took an early-morning walk on the streets of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, or for that matter a very late-night, drunken return from the West End Bar, there were to be found strongly built wooden milk crates left outside the grocery stores, that simply begged to be re-purposed! We collected quite a few of these over our first couple of years here, using them as bases for simple benches made from two-by-twelve planks, or for storage.
When, this summer, we moved into our latest house here on our little island, with its greatly increased space including a studio and garage-cum-workshop, we found that we hadn’t enough bookshelves for all the books we’d collected (previously ensconced in built-in shelving). Loathe to buy lumber to build more shelves, we suddenly thought, “Why don’t we see how many milk crates and fruit boxes we’ve got and use them for shelves?” They were all in use as storage for various art, tools, paint cans, etc., but when we gathered them together we found we had a total of ten!
We came up with a way to stack them on themselves in an staggered, linear-designed way, to increase the total shelf footage, realizing that the weight of the books themselves would hold the whole assembly together, and found we had shelving for about 250 books here in our office. (We’ll photograph it one day soon.)
That was in September. So, as I leafed through my journal from 1975-76, I was a bit appalled to find that I’d sketched this basic idea way back then! And never got around to doing it – for almost 40 years! And never even remembered it. Oh dear.
– Dave Wilder